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TODAY   |  March 22, 2013

Gerard Butler: Stellar cast ‘pulls you in’ to ‘Olympus’

The charming actor plays a Secret Service agent in the new movie “Olympus Has Fallen.” He tells TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb that a talented cast makes the thriller believable —and he gives a special shout-out to KLG’s 85-year-old mom, Joan.

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>>> before kathie lee took off we had a chance to sit down and talk with this great actor, gerrard butler .

>> why didn't you wait until i was here.

>> we wanted to hog him for ourself.

>> the hunk who hails from scotland, gerard butler takes on many different roles.

>> his new movie is old-fashioned. he plays a secret service agent who is on the outs until the white house is seized by terrorists and the president is taken hospitalage. take a look.

>> yes, the president is in the bunker. being held hostage.

>> what do they want?

>> we'll try to find out.

>> who's in charge?

>> trumble. are there any survivors with you?

>> negative, sir this he wiped us out. in the hallways with enough explosives to take out an army.

>> okay.

>> gerard is with us today. i'm shaking because i just finished watching the movie. and it's so powerful. so powerful because it's so darn believable.

>> and you felt like there's a possibility of something terrible like that could happen.

>> forgive me, everybody.

>> at the end of the day , it's fiction, it's entertainment. but i think in light of recent history and where we are in the world right now, it's, it's not a distinct impossibility. and we played it for, if it's going to happen, how would it look? and really give it some more depth and meaning and create these, these very human characters, including the officials involved and secret service .

>> can we talk about the cast for a second? how did they let you in it!

>> i put myself in it.

>> you slept with somebody?

>> yeah.

>> so the cast has angela bassett .

>> morgan freeman , we have --

>> ashley judd .

>> ashley judd .

>> aaron who plays the president, so great. so really, they just pull you into this movie. and i think what was important was just again making it so believable and each one of them is a hero. that's why at the end i mean you can see the attack and it's very --

>> it's brutal. it's brutal. it's not for children.

>> but at the end of the day , you come out of there -- i'm amazed, women like you guys, they love the movie, i know women.

>> that's what we hear. you love a lot of them.

>> we've been to screenings around the country. we took it to washington and i thought it was going to be stoned. politicos and ambassadors and government, secret service -- they were all there and they loved it. they were applauding during the movie.

>> what did they tell you afterwards, they appreciated the authenticity?

>> they aappreciated how provocative it was. the thing about the movie at the end of the day , it makes you so patriotic. and all of these journeys of the heroes and the idea is basically how a country -- it made me feel, no matter what, if they throw their worst at us at the end of the day , we'll make it through.

>> you're a scotsman who is an american hero .

>> yeah.

>> how does it feel?

>> to play any kind of hero, i'm not a hero in my real life , so okay, i'll do it in movies.

>> how is the rest of your life, by the way? the other parts of it?

>> do you sing in the shower?

>> i do sing in the shower.

>> you're a darn good singer.

>> i never had a singing lesson before the opera, it was shower singing and then i had to go for a singing lesson. before i sang for andrew lloyd weber . i said i'm going to sing " music of the night " i said if i'm going to make a fool of myself. tell me and i'll drop out. and when i was done, she said, i'm not bad.

>> there's an 83-year-old woman who saw your " phantom of the opera " at least 25 times and that is my mother. would you just say hello to joanie .

>> hey, joanie . where am i talking to? hey, joanie . let's watch it together 26 times?

>> mr. charm, move over , sean connery . move over . baby.

>> congratulations, a terrific movie.